This is an unprecedented PPP development involving the Free State provincial government, the Department of Human Settlements, Matjhabeng Local Municipality and Harmony Gold, which donated land and buildings, bridging finance and initial property management for the first two years. The budget for phase 1 of the project was R36 million for the completion of 152 residential units, while a further 312 units are scheduled for completion later in 2012.
The remainder were absorbed by the National Treasury/Rand Water Technical Support Programme. The Young Professionals programme made a significant contribution towards professionalising the local government sector. The Fund acknowledges all its partners: the host municipalities, the National Treasury, CoGTA, Rand Water, ECSA, SACPLAN, Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), the South African Black Technical and Allied. Careers Organisation (SABTACO), and the mentors and experts who coached the young professionals.
The Fund will keep track of all the programme’s graduates and set up a post-internship support mechanism. This will aim to provide networking opportunities; create a platform for the professional sharing of best practice in the different areas of specialisation; and enable career tracking and development so that the Fund can gauge the strategic impact of its programmes beyond the programme lifespan. Single-quarter hostel buildings in the Masimong area of Welkom, previously owned by Harmony Gold, were converted into high-quality municipal rental estates earmarked for lower income residents. This integrated development initiative included the conversion of old hostels and facilities into residential units, an administrative centre, a workshop, a clinic, a general dealer store and pre-school facilities.
Role of the Fund
The Fund deployee managed the provincial Community Residential Unit Grant to ensure that it was utilised efficiently. The Fund’s involvement dates back to 2009, when the deployee reviewed the developer’s technical, financial and property management proposals for compliance with the policy guidelines and prescriptions of the Community Residential Unit Programme. The provincial government received assistance on scoping the project, managing the costs and formulating a risk plan with mitigation measures. The deployee was also responsible for coordinating the project through participating in steering committee meetings and reporting to the province.
The project contributed significantly to urban renewal objectives in the area. Phase 1 was completed and provided
rental housing to 152 lower-income households (between R800 and R3 500 per month). The project plan facilitated environmental renewal through the use of green technology, including the harvesting of existing building material and solar heating. The project created 600 job opportunities and contributed to the social upliftment of the beneficiaries.